Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sports Solutions & Kinesio Taping In Today's Straits Times

Team OCBC rider Ang Kee Meng 
Lance Armstrong, David Beckham, Serena Williams and our national athletes have used it before. Lance even talked about it in his book "Every Second Counts".You can probably use it too. And you don't even have to be an athlete. 85% of Kinesio tape users are non athletes. It can also be used in pediatric patients (e.g. cerebral palsy, torticollis etc), patients with neurological conditions like Parkinson's and patients with bruising and swelling.

Have a look at the Sports section in the Straits Times today (270310) and you'll read more about Kinesio Taping.

Some of our staff have been using it since 1999. Of course we do not use the tape for everything, we will still find the cause of your pain and treat it (rather than just treating your pain). And if our patients require Kinesio taping, we will use it at no extra charge.

We also teach Kinesio taping courses, let us know if you are keen.

*Lance Armstrong, David Beckham & Serena Williams photos from
*Cycleworx rider Ang Kee Meng taken by Jeanette Wang

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Triathlon Training And Injuries

*Picture of Aviva Singapore Ironman 70.3 by RS

Due to the fact that last Sunday was the Singapore Aviva 70.3 Ironman race, both our clinics Physio and Sports Solutions saw a fair bit of triathletes last week (for both Physiotherapy and Sports Massage) and this week as well (post race massage). We've also treated a number of overseas participants as well and some won their age groups too.

Since I treat lots of injured (and sometimes not injured) triathletes over the years (and having raced many before in the past myself), I've had the opportunity to ask our patients lots of questions about their training regime, equipment, tapering and racing of course. Here are some things I've noticed about triathletes, which strangely is also supported by a published research paper I came across this past week.

There seemed to be no real difference in overuse injuries in both Olympic distance (OD) and Ironman distance (IM) athletes. Chances of an OD patient getting a injury recurring was much less compared to their IM counterparts.

The research paper reported that OD triathletes suffered less from running injuries but those who did were out injured longer compared to IM triathletes. The less the OD triathletes trained, the more they seemed to be injured (these are the newbie triathletes).

For the IM distance triathletes, the overuse injury rates corresponds to the number of intensive sessions done. Yes, this is what I've noticed as well, the more the interval sessions, the higher chance of IM triathletes sustaining an overuse injury, especially during "brick" (combining bike-run sessions) training. This may be due to the "cumulative stress" of performing back to back sessions of hard biking and running.

The authors also noted that when some triathletes get injured, there is a tendency to increase training load in another discipline rather than resting. This frequently further increased their injury recurring and may delay their time to recovery.

Come talk to us if you need help whether you are training for your first Sprint, Olympic distance or done lots of Ironman distance races, we'll be most happy to help you.


Vleck VE et al (2010). Triathlon Event Distance Specialization: Training and Injury Effects. Journal of Strength Cond Res. 24(1): 30-36.

*Picture of Aviva Singapore Ironman 70.3 by RS

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kinesio Taping Course At SS

Kinesio Taping Level 1 (KT1) and 2 (KT2) was taught at Sports Solutions yesterday and today by our certified Kinesio Taping Instructor Gino in conjunction with Progress Healthcare Pte Ltd (the distributor for the Kinesio Tapes).

Thank you for all who attended, especially our foreign participants from Malaysia, Philippines, USA and Germany.

Stay tuned for more info on the next course.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Protein Protection

If you've been racing hard in the OCBC bike race today or trained really hard earlier in the day (in anticipation of other races later in the season) read on for some simple dietary intervention that can help maintain your immune function (prevent you from getting sick).

There is much research to show that combining carbohydrate (CHO) and protein after heavy exercise can aid in replenishing your glycogen stores and tissue repair.

There is also growing research evidence that protein may aid immune recovery and also lower the risk of respiratory tract infections. Not any protein but protein in the form of branch chain amino acids and glutamine.

Researchers in the study below studied a group of competitive runners after a 2 hour run. The control group was given water immediately after and 1 hour post exercise. The "immediate feeding" group were given a CHO-protein solution straight after exercise plus water 1 hour later while the "delayed feeding" group received water straight after the run and the CHO-protein solution an hour later.

Results showed that consuming the CHO-protein mix straight after the exercise had a significant effect on neutrophil degranulation. On what you said. This is the marker used in tracking susceptibility to infection. It is very common to find a drop in neutrophil degranulation after tough bouts of exercise which means you are more likely to fall sick. This means that you can avoid that by some quick and smart refueling.

Here's the suggested mix from the research, consume 1.2 grams of CHO per kg of body mass while adding 0.4 grams protein per kg body mass. For a 65kg athlete, that means you will need 78 grams of CHO & 26 grams of protein.


Costa RJS, Oliver SJ et al (2009). Influence of Timing of Post-exercise Carbohydrate-Protein Ingestion on Selected Immune Indices. International J of Sport Nutrition & Ex Metabolism. 19(4) : 366-384.

*Picture from Flickr

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cycling And Knee Pain

With the OCBC bike race this weekend, both our clinics have been seeing quite a few cyclists this past week and so I thought I'll do a write up on the combination of cycling specific factors that can cause ailments/ grief to your knees.

These factors can often be divided into cycling specific reasons, bike specific and cyclist specific reasons. Cycling specific causes are mainly due to suddenly increasing distances, intensity, hills, using heavier gears and lower cadences while bike specific reasons are likely to occur when radical changes are made to your saddle height, setback and/ or cleat position.

I will elaborate more on the cyclist specific factors that can cause your knee injuries as this often happen due to your own individual make-up and biomechanics, i.e. intrinsic rather than extrinsic reasons.

The first cyclist specific factor that can cause your knee pain is usually due to anatomical differences such as a leg length discrepancies (bearing in mind most of us will have this). Most often though, I've found that most cyclist tend to favor one leg over the other. This is usually the leg with your thigh closest to your seat post when you are pedaling which partly explains why knee pain seldom affects both knees equally.

All of us have had falls, knocks, scrapes and other injuries which may lead to us subtly changing the way we move and so previous injuries (cycling related or not) can also be a contributing factor to causing knee pain. This is especially more so when we decide to ride more than normal at the start of the season or when we have a new bike etc.

The cumulative effect of the two reasons mentioned above can then upset the forces your knees have to deal with while pedaling. Each pedal stroke bends and straightens the knee joint but it should never straighten your knees fully (if it does, your saddle is too high). The push (straightening) phase starts when your knees are bent at about 110 degrees, and the knees start to bend again at about 35 degrees (when you start the pull phase of your pedal stroke). Your muscles and tendons around the knees are the direct shock absorbers for the forces transmitted there. Hence overused or tight muscles which arise from repetition (with you turning the pedals over and over again) can contribute to increased forces to your knees.

The accumulation of excessive loads over time can exceed your body's ability to dissipate forces which can lead to damage if not given a chance to recover, which then leads to injury (hence the need for rest days).

The good news is the vast majority of these cycling specific knee pain improve quickly (with non-operative intervention) with correct identification and treatment of the cause of your pain, something which we at Physio and Sports Solutions are good at.

Please come look for us if you need. And all the best to all of our patients who are taking part in the race.

*Thanks to my patient KM for allowing me to take a picture of his knees.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Adidas miCoach Pacer

Received this from Adidas recently and have put it to test.

The miCoach Pacer combines a heart rate monitor, pedometer, calorie counter and real time coaching that you can connect to your iPod. It also has online coaching tools that allows you to keep track of your workouts and guide you along to improve your times.

It comes with a heart rate monitor device to strap around your chest, a stride sensor which attaches to your laces and the main control unit which collects data. After your calibration is done, the Pacer can start collecting data.

I've only just tried it a few times, stay tuned as I try it out a few more times before I can comment further.